Complex PTSD Essentials For The New Year

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As we head into the New Year, resolutions firmly on the back burner as life took over, we need to place some tools into our Trauma Recovery Toolbox. These tools, when used with commitment, consistency and compassion for ourselves, will create new awareness and continued movement in our recovery journey.

Breathing ~ Essential for life. Trauma means we hold our breath more often than we recognize. It’s time to build an awareness of when you’re holding your breath. Increased oxygen is scientifically proven as necessary for our recovery.

Curiosity ~ We never had a chance to develop it as children. As adults being curious about our internal system we developed to cope with the trauma will also help us become more curious of the life that is awaiting us. Let’s be curious.

Language ~ Complex Trauma comes with a language we need to learn in order that we can understand what happened to us neurologically, biologically, physiologically, emotionally. Trauma recovery also has a language that will help our mind comprehend more of our journey. Grab some articles online and become informed. Understanding that we live in our limbic system has helped me no end to begin regulating my emotions.

Internal Self Awareness ~ Having experienced Trauma as a child we develop internal systems to cope with day to day life. We often try to control our external world in order to keep what is left of our internal world safe. The recovery journey requires that we develop awareness of our internal journey so we can unpack thoughts, emotions, patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us as adults.

Attachment ~ We’ve never known what secure attachment is and how to work towards having one. It’s important that we gain an awareness of our attachment style. We will then be able to work towards eliminating behaviours that don’t resemble a secure attachment style. Personally I’m working towards not having and anxious attachment style as it keeps my mind not focusing on where I’m headed.

Increasing our Window of Tolerance ~ Google window of tolerance and then click on images. This will give you an understanding of your window of tolerance, dysregulation, Hyperarousal and Hypoarousal. I’ve found keeping this graphic on my desktop helps me to be conscious of when I’m slipping into dysregulation and headed for Hypoarousal.

Self Talk ~ Developing a discipline of listening to our self talk is necessary. I couldn’t believe how badly I was speaking to myself last year, literally bullying myself at times. When we recognise self talk that is unkind we can learn to be more compassionate with ourselves. Compassion and kindness are also essential this year.

Grab a healthy dose of courage this year and remember you are not alone on this journey. We are all in this together. Seek out groups, whether online or in person, to do your recovery journey safely. Remission from Complex Ptsd is possible, but first we must put in the work.

Written by Linda Meredith.